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Machiavelli was a product of Renaissance Florence, a city-state that was struggling for expansion and survival among a competing group of similar states. As a public servant and diplomat, Machiavelli came to understand power politics by observing the spectacle around him without any illusions.

A. I know what the bold means, but wondering what is its concept.

Thanks

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    ... Competing group of similar city-states – Jim Jun 6 '15 at 19:43
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    States similar to Florence. – StoneyB Jun 6 '15 at 20:38
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    I'm confused. If you understand the portion in bold, what is your question? – Jason Patterson Jun 7 '15 at 0:28
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    I am also confused. Can you try elaborating and rewording the question, "What is its concept?" – Jason Melançon Jun 7 '15 at 1:32
  • Thanks for your reply. You are right, as the question is not crystal clear. By that I mean that if there was at the time some states which were similar to that city? – nima Jun 7 '15 at 14:54
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Similar refers to city-state, Florence was competing with other city-states, like Pisa.

The Tuscan saying Pisa merda reflects how Pisa managed to get hated by everybody in that period of the city-states, before the Granduchy of Tuscany conquered everything.

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